Much More Work Needed at Hanna Boys Center, Survivors Say

Hanna Boys Center officials say they will finally seek out those who were molested at the facility. Santa Rosa Bishop Robert Vasa should do likewise, using church bulletins, pulpit announcements and parish websites.

In outreach messages, church and center staff should stress the importance of contacting the independent, unbiased and experienced professionals in law enforcement first, not employees of the diocese or the home. We feel it is especially crucial that those with knowledge or suspicions of wrongdoing at Hanna contact the California attorney general who is investigating sexual abuse by clergy and its cover up in the state.

While helping to heal adults who were assaulted as children is important, we hope that the diocese and the center will be completely transparent with any survivors who come forward and let them know if accepting this help will exclude them from filing a lawsuit in the future. This is particularly important since it is likely that California, like New York, will soon open a civil window, and help is also available through the Sonoma County Family Justice Center.

Fr. John Crews and Kevin Thorpe have already been publicly identified as abusing boys at Hanna. We hope that should abuse by any additional Hanna staff be uncovered in the center’s outreach, that the identities, current whereabouts and work histories of these wrongdoers will also be publicly disclosed.

After all, even if all the abusers have left the facility, they may still be living and working among unsuspecting neighbors and colleagues, and can still pose a danger to children.

Finally, we we believe it is the moral and civic duty of anyone with information or suspicions about crimes or cover ups at the center to call police and prosecutors, no matter how small, old or seemingly insignificant the information or rumors might seem. That is the best way to expose the truth, protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.

 CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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